Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Preventing SIDS: New Advice for Parents

continued...

 

While the bedding may cause infants to overheat, or cause suffocation, a physiological process called "re-breathing" may also be at work, he says.

 

"Babies who get their faces in this bedding breathe their own expired air -- carbon dioxide -- and don't get sufficient fresh air," Thach tells WebMD. "This gives rise to impaired respiratory function, oxygen depletion. Some babies have not yet learned to turn their heads when oxygen gets too low, so they may not sense that carbon dioxide is building up."

 

Most cases of SIDS occur when babies are two or three months old, "a peak time when babies start to squirm, to pull things over their faces, develop mobility," says Thach. "Yet they have not yet learned how to extract themselves from these dangerous situations."

 

The SIDS Alliance advocates dressing babies in a light piece of clothing called the "Dutch sleeping sack," Thach tells WebMD. The baby's head and arms are uncovered, but the chest and rest of the body are enclosed in a "sort of a bag," he says. "Babies have a reduced ability to roll over [onto their stomach], reduced ability to scoot around in the crib and get into dangerous situations."

 

Allowing infants to share an adult's bed has also proven to be dangerous, causing cases of accidental suffocation, says Thach. "It appears to occur more often when adults or siblings are in bed asleep or unconscious of what is happening to the infant. Babies can pull covers over their heads, scoot under comforters. In some cases, part of the adult's body -- a leg or a breast -- covers the baby's face."

 

Placing babies on sofas or in overstuffed chairs is equally risky, he adds, because a baby's head can become trapped or wedged in a tight place or under cushions. "Even the bed frame is risky," says Thach.

If you have questions about SIDS, or advice for others, check out WebMD's Parenting board moderated by Steven Parker, MD.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow